What Do You Think: Should Calamari Be R.I.'s State Appetizer?
A bill introduced Thursday in the General Assembly would do just that.
Everyone – everyone – loves fried calamari. And not just in Rhode Island. Travel beyond our borders and you'll find fried calamari on the menu in Los Angeles, Wisconsin, and Washington D.C., to name a few of the places that have co-opted our batter-fried squid rings and tentacles served with red sauce and pickled hot peppers.
Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston), in recognition of that fact, thinks calamari should be designated Rhode Island's official state appetizer. Bill 2013-H 5654, which McNamara (no relation to this author) introduced Thursday, would do just that.
“Some much of what we hear or read about Rhode Island is negative,” said McNamara in a statement. “We need to start promoting the good and wonderful things about our state. And while squid may make some people squeamish, we should be boasting about the fact that Rhode Island is the east coast capital of squid, and that our style of preparing it is being used by chef across the country. Even Guy Fieri has a recipe for it.”
There are some who would disagree, however, including RI Future's Bob Plain, who opined on Twitter Thursday that the clam cake would be a better official state appetizer. We are the quahog state, but it's hard to deny calamari's popularity.
The calamari bill has been referred to the House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare. It is co-sponsored by Rep. Teresa Tanzi (D-Dist. 34, Narragansett, South Kingstown), Rep. Donna M. Walsh (D-Dist. 36, Charlestown, New Shoreham, South Kingstown, Westerly), Rep. Deborah Ruggiero (D-Dist. 74, Jamestown, Middletown) and Rep. Gregory J. Costantino (D-Dist. 44, Lincoln, Johnston, Smithfield).
What do you think? Should calamari be our official state appetizer? Should our legislators be spending their time on bills naming an official state appetizer? Weigh in below in the comments section.